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tv   Jansing and Co.  MSNBC  March 21, 2013 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. take the next step. talk to your doctor. cymbalta can help. i really like your new jetta! and you want to buy one like mine because it's so safe, right? yeah... yeah... i know what you've heard -- iihs top safety pick for $159 a month -- but, i wish it was more dangerous, like a monster truck or dune buggy! you can't have the same car as me! [ male announcer ] now everyone's going to want one. let's get a jetta. [ male announcer ] volkswagen springtoberfest is here and there's no better time to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. right now lease one of four volkswagen models for under $200 a month. visit today. good morning. i'm chris jansing. vice president joe biden is not giving up the fight to pass gun legislation, specifically the assault weapons ban. >> i'm still pushing that it
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pass -- we are still pushing that it pass. the same thing was told to me when the first assault ban in '94. it was declared dead several times. i believe that the vast majority of the american people agree with us. >> so joe biden will be here in new york city today to meet with mayor michael bloomberg about gun legislation. it's going to be an uphill battle. democrats backing a gun bill got a punch to the gut when senator harry reid said that assault weapons ban will not be part of the comprehensive senate package. and this could be part of the reason. check it out. the nra, its fundraising hit record highs, $1.6 million in february alone. that's the best number they've posted since 2000. put it up against mayor bloomberg's super pac. he put up just $2 million last month. let me bring in our guests.
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good morning to both of you. >> good morning. >> hi, chris. >> biden says he's not giving up. i don't know. is that just talk? harry reid says the assault weapons ban had only 40 votes. where does he think he's going to get these votes from? >> i think this just shows you what a contentious issue gun control is in this country. i would have thought, given the events of the last few weeks and months that we would be much farther along. i can only hope that bloomberg and his money, as you pointed out, are going to help balance this issue out. i hope that he keeps pressing on this hard as well, but politically i think it is going to be a very tough sell. >> it is, i think, worth mentioning some of the headlines, again. we saw "the daily news" cover. everyone was talking about this. shame on us. "the national journey," cowardly congress. karen, how much of this has to do with the nra's lobbying operation and the fundraising numbers we showed you? >> well, i think a lot of it
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does. having seen a few of these gun control battles before, i'm not surprised about this at all. the situation, often you have a rise in sentiment for gun control after these tragedies, but it always fades away. what does remain, the nra and its backers, they have very long memories. they tend to vote on one issue. there are a lot of democratic seats in the senate that are up next year in states that are very, you know, good for the nra. places like west virginia, places like arkansas, places, you know, that again, harry reid is not, i think, ready to risk his majority on an issue that he recognizes is probably not going to go much further. >> yeah, there are a lot of democratic senators up for re-election in those kinds of states. so we're seeing some of this debate shifting to the states. i mean, because of this difficulty of getting these federal laws, some states have already started passing their own. colorado's governor signed the law there yesterday.
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we saw the very sweeping law in new york, although already they've had to back off a little bit on magazines because the problem is they didn't actually manufacture the kind of magazines they were talking about. having said that, rana, could this be where this debate is shifting? joe biden's somewhat optimistic belief notwithstanding. >> i think so. i think new york is going to get attention no matter what because of mayor bloomberg being involved in this issue. again, i hope he continues strongly down this path because i think he has the power to sort of look across both sides of the aisle and really bring some unity here. i think it's interesting that some of these western states are actually moving ahead and passing laws. i think that goes to the point that we have this idea that, you know, particularly in the west and in the south that gun control has always been a big libertarian issue, that we have this very free-wheeling culture around guns, but that's only happened since the 1970s, since the nra money really came into the picture. this is not america's
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traditional stance around gun control. i think it's important to remember that. >> so this meeting today, karen, between the vice president and new york city mayor bloomberg, what's that conversation going to be like? do they talk strategy? do they talk money? are the two inextricably bound? >> the only hope really for an assault weapons ban is to create some kind of pressure in those states where, again, particularly these democratic senators are up for re-election. john boehner has basically said in the house, you know, we're going to sit back and watch and see what comes out of the senate. so it is a very, you know, bad use of a word, but sort of a targeted issue here. you know, i just am not entirely sure that mayor bloomberg's money is going to have the kind of impact in those areas it would have to have. >> i want to bring in congressman charles rangel. always good to have you on the program. good morning. >> good to be back. good morning. >> you're a proponent of many of these new laws. what happened to people in your
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corner? i mean, things seemed so promising after newtown and now the senate democrats, harry reid said, look, it's just a pragmatic decision, can barely get 40 votes for an assault weapons ban, let alone 60. what happened? >> i'm ashamed to admit it, but it's politics and it's money. the national rifle association has taken this position. there's no reason, there's no foundation, there's no hunter that needs automatic military weapons to enjoy the culture of going hunting. but, you know, it's really basically the absence of the voices of good people. i cannot believe that politicians are afraid of the nra. if they thought for one minute that the churches and the synagogue and the priests and the ministers were saying, hey, do the right thing and we have your back. we're talking about millions of kids dying, being shot down by
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assault weapons. we're talking about handguns in the inner cities. they get these guns and get computers. this is not just a political issue. it's a moral issue. so when we condemn the nra, we should not ignore the fact that a lot of people that have taken more positions have been solid on this big one. >> well, let's talk about the other thing, which you mentioned at the beginning, which is money. if michael bloomberg is willing to put his substantial fortune behind this and, you know, he out-fundraised the nra and he was the only donor, can he fight back? what do you think michael bloomberg's role could be in all of this? >> mike is a very generous guy. he has full commitment to these issues, and certainly in illinois he proved that dollars can be effective. but that's not what my country and the congress should be all
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about. this should not be a battle of how many dollars you can put up. i mean, basically when we go to other countries and we try to sell them what our values are, and we should not be the number one manufacturer of guns and violent instruments. we shouldn't have more people in jail than other people. and we shouldn't have more people being killed by personal weapons. the whole idea of trying to justify why people should have automatic weapons that are built and made and created to kill people, it's hard for a civilized community to explain that. that's where we need the churches, the synagogues, and the moral people because common sense does not justify what we're going through. and i don't want to say that in order for us to do the right thing you got to get a bloomberg and you got to get billions of dollars. that's a shameful admission for our congress. >> beyond legislation,
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congressman, that's about the guns or the magazines, let me ask you about universal background checks. it sounded to a lot of people as though speaker boehner was actually endorsing background checks. let me play that for you. >> do you think background checks and improving background checks might be part of that? >> they should actually do a real background check on everyone, and maybe the department of justice ought to enforce the law. >> so his office pushed back saying he was talking only about existing laws on background checks, not a new law on background checks. but if it passes the senate and gets to the house, what are the chances it does pass in your chamber? >> i think it has a pretty good chance because as difficult as it has been for us to understand this addiction to assault weapons, a background check i think will be hard for anybody to explain why they voted against that. common sense and reason should say that you don't want
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dangerous weapons in the hands of people who are ill-suited mentally to deal with it. so i think the chances are good, not because the nra would want you to do it, but we've done it before, the reasons have been changed, the problems have multiplied. it's just good common sense. >> congressman charles rangel, good to have you here. thank you so much. >> thank you. have a great day. >> you know, he brings up a good point about guns and does it talk about what our values are. obviously, if you talk to folks who are big supporters of the nra, they say the second amendment speaks to what our values are, speaks to our constitution, speaks to our freedoms. on the other hand, if you want to look at the international community -- and i spent a week in newtown. there was media there from all over the world. they were completely puzzled, most of them, but what had happened. >> i lived in europe for ten years and worked there. people just can't believe how lax we are. americans need to understand, we
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are so far out of the ballpark of other rich western countries when it comes to our attitudes about guns. if you think about the number of guns we have, about 89 guns for everyone 100 people in our population, that puts us in the ballpark of countries like yemen. you know, that's not a club that you want to be in, particularly when you're off in the middle east trying to sell our values as the congressman said earlier. >> when you talk about the other side of that, though, it was really interesting in "the san francisco chronicle" today. they talked about why people back the nra. feinstein, meaning of course the senator who has backed the assault weapons ban, doesn't hear gunshots every night as leon blakely of oakland, california, tells me he does. blakely joined the nra on sunday. his advice on life, own a gun and a fishing pole. you'll survive. i mean, a part of this, i think, really does deal with don't you think, karen, a certain level of fear? >> well, i also think it's
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part -- again, i think people maybe in new york and some parts of the country don't understand the degree to which guns are part of the culture in other parts of the country. i was just in south carolina this week, and people there say that the gun stores are basically out of guns. there is a huge run on guns. right now the nra has succeeded in convincing people that some of these restrictions are sort of the first step to the government coming into your house and trying to take away your guns. so that, i think, has been the, you know, the strength of their appeal. much more so than dollars and cents. they're part of the culture in parts of the country. >> we put that poll up, and we saw support for some level of gun control go up after newtown. now it seems to be slipping back a little bit more. i think karen has a great point, rana. it really is that slippery slope argument. >> it is. listen, i grew up in rural
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indiana. i understand parts of the country have different attitudes about guns. again, i think we've really gotten a twisted view of what the american norm is. if you go back to the 19th century or the earlier part of the 20th century, gun control laws were much stricter, even in free-wheeling -- or places perceived as being free wheeling like texas, colorado, western states. i think that our sense of normal has just moved so far away from what a middle point is that we need to get back there. >> rana, karen, thanks to both of you. >> thank you. >> thank you. also in d.c. right now, the house is starting a vote on a $984 billion spending bill that keeps the government running for the next six months. in a rare show of bipartisanship, the senate passed the measure yesterday 73-26. the bill also gives the pentagon and other federal agencies flexibility in implementing those sequester cuts. ature. discover nectresse™. the 100%-natural no-calorie sweetener made from the goodness of fruit.
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day two of his middle east visit, and president obama is set to give a major speech to the israeli people at the top of the hour. now, ahead of that speech, palestinian militants fired two rockets into southern israel from the gaza strip earlier this morning. no one was hurt. meantime, the president, who has had a difficult relationship with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu is getting different headlines. check this out from ""the washington post."" obama and netanyahu show unusual solidarity. "the daily beast," obama and netanyahu make peace. and from "the christian science monitor," a show of warmth. joining me is p.j. crowley. good to see you. >> hello, chris. good morning. >> evidence of this warming relationship came from the prime minister himself. let me play for you what he said. >> i think that people should
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get to know president obama the way i've gotten to know him. >> do you sense just from what you've seen over the last 24 hours or so, p.j., that this relationship is warming? if that's true, how important is it? >> well, it is important. you know, there are major strategic issues that -- and a really shared vision between the united states and israel on the big things. iran, the middle east peace process, and i'm sure the president and prime minister talked about syria as well. clearly, they've had strains in their relationship, but these are both skilled politicians. yesterday was about, you know, putting a floor on their relationship because they're going to be governing together, you know, for a number of years. you know, the pictures were reassuring, the words were reassuring, and yesterday was probably the most straightforward day. today is the most complex day because the president walks into, you know, competing narratives and a zero
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submentality that his efforts to reassure the israelis will be seen as disappointing on behalf of the palestinians. >> he also sat down today with mahmoud abbas, the palestinian president. the headline coming out of that is he's reversed what he said in egypt onset elements. he now says a halt to settlements as a precondition to peace talks is putting the cart before the horse. what do you make of that? >> well, coming into office in 2009, the obama administration put a great deal of emphasis on settlements, seemed to side with the palestinian view that there should be a moratorium on settlements. that was something the prime minister was willing to do for a short period of time, ten months, but was not willing to do again. there seems to be some flexibility in the palestinian position, but look, there's a real lack of trust between prime minister netanyahu and president abbas. the ability of the president to
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kind of bridge that gap is going to take probably months before you see potential start of negotiations. you know, the middle east peace process will consume much of the president's second term in office. >> a lot of this will depend on his relationship with both of these men, the president's relationship with both of these men. if you saw some encouraging signs with netanyahu, let me play for you what abbas had to say after what he called useful talks. let's listen. all right. we don't have it, but i'm going to read it to you. president obama said, if we're going to succeed, part of what we're going to have to do is get out of some of the formulas and habits that have blocked progress for so long. both sides are going to have to think anew. those of us in the united states are going to have to think anew. what do you think realistically the hopes are here? because certainly coming into it, there was very little set
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about the prospects for the progress of this trip. >> sure. there has been an inability the last couple of years to get the negotiations restarted and understanding that the finish line for abbas and the finish line for netanyahu are very different. so this is going -- this is a long-term project. but i wouldn't overlook that the next stop on the president's agenda in jordan, in my mind, may well be, you know, the most consequential. the president's been very cautious about getting involved so deeply in the syrian crisis. he'll go see king abdullah. if the president is going to recalculate in any way his syrian policy in the coming months, what king abdullah tells him about the inability to sustain the status quo and the growing potential of what's happening in syria can move beyond syria's borders. that will have a profound effect
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potentially on the president's thinking on what to do about syria, how the united states can help move to the post-assad period. >> let me ask you quickly about this speech, because it's coming up in about 40 minutes. obviously, the relationship, if you look at the polls between the president and the israeli people, has been strained as well. here's what a university professor wrote in "the daily beast" this morning. mr. obama will be talking to young people who are neither listless cynics nor disaffected sofa-plit koes. many of them have marched in demonstrations and took active part in protest rallies. our record of effective activism is by comparison to every other recent social movement, stellar. is this an important speech for him there? if so, what should his message be? >> well, it is an important speech. he has about a 10% approval rating in israel. that will undoubtedly tick up. but this is part of the president's style. you remember in 2009 he spoke at
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cairo university. he's made a choice here. he's not going to speak government to government. he's going to move beyond that dialogue to talk directly to the israeli people. i'm not surprised he's talking to young people because ultimately the middle east's ability to overcome the current divides, you know, is a generational challenge. the youth changing that perspective is going to be vital both inside syria and throughout the rest of the region. >> p.j. crowley, always good to see you. thank you. >> okay, chris. and some more evidence this morning that the newly installed pope francis may not be your grandfather's pontiff. in an interview last year that is now getting a lot of play, then cardinal admitted he was, quote, dazzled by a woman he met at a wedding during his days as a young seminary yan. and while he said he's in favor of maintaining the celibacy rule for priests, he did provide an opening for change saying that rule could change because it's a matter of discipline and not faith.
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to politics now where speaker john boehner says house republicans are in a good spot. at an nrcc fundraiser, he told the crowd the president's second term was, quote, supposed to be the president's honeymoon and our nightmare. instead, he's been on the ropes. well, republicans wasted no time attacking the president for doing his bracket instead of a budget. the commander in chief made his picks on espn. >> i'm going louisville. i know it's not a surprise pick. and i'm going with indiana. these are the two best teams right now. for the championship, i'm going back to the big ten. i think this is indiana's year. meantime, missouri senator claire mccaskill is writing a book about her 2012 campaign. you remember todd akin. he lost after making comments about legitimate rape. and tina fey brought back
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her sarah palin impersonation one more time on "inside the actor's studio." >> well, i'll tell you, i don't know. i'm a half governor, or you could call me a maverick at large. >> same-sex marriage, what is your view on that, please? >> well, the bible says it's gross. look at bo. he is on the hunt. the youngest member of the obama family looking for easter eggs on the south lawn. and the white house will, despite some reports to the contrary, host the easter egg roll for kids on april 1st. go, bo, go. if you read only one thing this morning, my must-read is about the single mom who was fired for selling girl scout cookies at work.
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she was charged with, quote, operating a personal cash business which violates company policy. what do you think? let me know. it's up on our facebook page at facebook/jansingco. don't forget to like us. i hope i get the cookies i ordered here. [ male announcer ] just when you thought you had experienced performance a new ride comes along and changes everything. the powerful gs. get great values on your favorite lexus models during the command performance sales event. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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like a squirrel stashes nuts, you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® liquid gels. nothing starts working faster than zyrtec® at relieving your allergy symptoms for 24 hours. zyrtec®. love the air. there is an internal debate continuing today within the republican party over that rnc blunt autopsy of the 2012 election that argues the party is marginalizing itself. that 100-page analysis seems to have only intensified the battle between deeply committed conservatives and more pragmatic members of the party who are fighting one another for control of the gop. joining me now on the future of the republican party, former congressman steve laterette. good morning. >> good morning to you.
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>> give me your take. how would you describe the current state of the gop? is the tea party the future? >> it's not the future. the tea party is an important component, but it's not the republican party. and, you know, we have to become a national party. in order to become a national party, i know you're from fair port harbor, ohio, and we have to compete in places like that if we want to elect the president of the united states. >> you know, it is interesting when you look at where your party is now. politico has this new article about the influence of a couple younger guys. marco rubio, rand paul, and how they're taking the reins. it's rubio and paul dominating the show. this wing of the party has its own version of the republican national committee, the heritage foundation. the aggressive, wealthy brothers and the club for growth. together these groups hold the cards when it comes to the most important political issues facing the party. do that i? >> no, i don't agree with that. they certainly old a good deal
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of sway, but our challenge at main street and other people like us in terms of wanting to restore the governing wing of the party recognize, again, they're an important piece of the puzzle, but if they become the puzzle, i mean, i heard you before the break talking about senator mccaskill's book. i'm interested to read it because i think she spent $2 million promoting the candidacy of representative akin because she knew he may have been one of the only two people in missouri that she could have beaten last year. >> well, don't you think he beat himself with his comments? i mean, that's -- >> he did, but that's the problem. the democrat invests in the republican because it's almost like she knew something was coming. you know, if you look at the rnc report, i think it's good that we've done this introspection, but we have to take it beyond that and you have to vet these candidates. it doesn't surprise me that we lose the women's vote when people are saying there's such a thing as legitimate rape. >> let me ask you about your
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super pac. karl rove has been taking a lot of hits for saying he wants to back more moderate candidates, they want to get away from the todd akins of the republican party. is there a difference between your super pac and his? >> they're going to focus on the senate. i sat down with karl a month ago. i said, respectively, you're not the face of mod kaeration on th republican party. >> how did he respond to that? >> he chuckled. because it's true. the fact that somebody is attacking karl rove and john boehner as being squishy moderates, that tells you how far to the right some of these folks have gone. so what we hope to do is play in republican primaries in the house, not attacking anybody, but saying that if you happen to reflect new england or ohio or pennsylvania, there shouldn't be some litmus test based upon a few wealthy people as to whether or not you're a good republican. electability is what it's about. >> former congressman, good to see you. thanks so much. checking the news feed this
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morning, colorado police are following up on several tips in their man hunt for the person who killed the state's prison director. tom clements was shot tuesday after answering the front door of his home. officials say they don't know for sure if the murder is related to his job, but they have increased security for other state officials including the governor. the new general in charge of guantanamo bay prison wants $150 million to overhaul the facility that president obama once vowed to shut down. the money would pay for new guard barracks, a new dining hall and legal conference center. about 25 detainees are currently on a hunger strike. that's the largest protest there in several years. the white house says it is still committed to closing the prison. more threats this morning from north korea. the government says it will attack military bases in japan and guam if provoked. this comes a day after kim jong-un conducted a mock drone strike on south korea.
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live pictures now from chicago where the hiring our heroes job fair just kick off. this is the second anniversary of the program that helps find jobs for veterans and military spouses. the program has a goal of hiring 500,000 veterans by the end of 2014. at today's event, more than 75 employers are on site, and they are ready, as you can see, to conduct interviews. a team searching the waters of the atlantic discovered what they believe are two of the engines from apollo 11. that's the rocket that first landed on the moon in 1969. amazon founder jeff bezos privately founded that search. they were found about 360 miles east of the launch pad three miles deep. they're expected to be brought back to port today. eventually, they'll be put on display. and what would you think if your employer said you have to report your weight or be charged extra to be a part of the company's health plan?
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more and more companies are adopting these policies. well n the meantime, ceos are cashing in on the surging stock market. cnbc's jackie deangelis is here. >> ceo,s are totally cashing in on stock options and shares that were issued to them at lower prices. so some of the early filings are showing that several ceos benefitted $50 million or more. who are they? apple's tim cook gaining $139.7 million. we have starbucks' howard schultz gaining $113.5 million. and christopher connor, $49.5 million. remember, chris, these numbers are on top of already very generous compensation packages. so some rich men getting richer here. >> and after that carnival cruise triumph pr nightmare, to
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say the least, they're cancelling, what, about a dozen more trips? >> yeah, that's also correct. a tough time for carnival and the cruise enthusiasts out there. carnival making adjustments to the triumph and sunshine schedule so it can make some changes to their power and fire suppression systems. the triumph was the ship that was crippled by the engine fire in the gulf of mexico. you know what? i'd rather have them do that than get on a ship and get stuck. >> no kidding. cnbc's jackie deangelis, thank you. and we're going to take you live now to jerusalem. the president running ahead of schedule. he's about to deliver his much-anticipated speech at the jerusalem cultural center to a bunch of youth. let's listen. >> -- and the friendship that binds us together. you know, over the last two days i've reaffirmed the bonds between our countries with prime minister netanyahu and president perez. i've been witness to the ancient
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history of the joewish people a the shrine of the book. this is a nation of museums and patents, timeless holy sites, ground breaking innovation. only in israel could you see the dead sea scrolls and the place where the technology on board the mars rover originated at the same time. [ applause ] but what i've most looked forward to is the ability to speak directly to you, the israeli people, especially so many young people who are here today. to talk about the history that brought us here today and the future that you will make in the years to come.
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now, i know that in israel's vibrant democracy, every word, every gesture is carefully scrutinized, but i want to clear something up just so you know. any drama between me and my friend bb over the years was just a plot to create material. that's the only thing that was going on. we just wanted to make sure the writers had good material. i also know that i've come to israel on the eve of a sacred holiday, the celebration of passover. and that is where i would like to begin today. just a few days from now, jews here in israel and around the world will sit with family and friends at the satyr table and
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celebrate with songs, wine, and foods. after enjoying satyrs with family and friends in chicago and on the campaign trail, i'm proud that i've now brought this tradition into the white house, and i did so -- [ applause ] -- i did so because i wanted my daughters to experience it. and the story at the center of passover that makes this time of year so powerful. it's a story of centuries of slavery and years of wandering in the desert, a story of perseverance amidst persecution and faith in god and the torah. it's a story about finding freedom in your own land. and for the jewish people, this
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story is central to who you've become. but it's also a story that holds within it the universal human experience with all of its suffering but also all of its salvation. it's a part of the three great religions, judaism, christianity. it's a story that's inspired communities across the globe, including me and my fellow americans. in the united states, a nation made up of people who crossed oceans to start anew were naturally drawn to the idea of finding freedom in our land. to african-americans, the story of the exodus was perhaps the central story, the most powerful image about emerging from the grip of bondage to reach for liberty and human dignity, a
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tale that was carried from slavery through the civil rights movement into today. for generations, this promise helped people weather poverty and persecution while holding on to the hope that a better day was on the horizon. for me personally, growing up in far-flung parts of the world and without firm roots, the story spoke to a yearning within every human being for a home. [ applause ] of course, even as we draw strength from the story of god's will and his gift of freedom expressed on passover, we also know that here on earth we must bear our responsibilities in an imperfect world. that means accepting our measure of sacrifice and struggle, just like previous generations.
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it means us working through generation after generation on behalf of that ideal of freedom. as dr. martin luther king said on the day before he was killed, i may not get there with you, but i want you to know that we as a people will get to the promiseland. so just -- [ applause ] -- so just as joshua carried on after moses, the work goes on for all of you, the joshua generation. for justice and dignity, for opportunity and freedom. for the jewish people, the journey to the promise of the state of israel wound through countless generations. it involve ed centuries of suffering and exile, prejudice and even genocide.
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through it all, the jewish people sustained their unique identity and traditions as well as a longing to return home. and while jews achieved extraordinary success in many parts of the world, the dream of true freedom finally found its full expression in the zionist idea, to be a free people in your homeland. that's why i believe that israel is rooted not just in history and tradition but also in a simple and profound idea, the idea that people deserve to be free in a land of their own. [ cheers and applause ] over the last 65 years, when israel has been at its best, israelis have demonstrated that responsibility does not end when you reach the promiseland, it
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only begins. so israel has been a refuge, welcoming jews from europe, from the former soviet union, from ethopia, north africa. israel has built a prosperous nation from making the desert bloom, business that made the middle class, reaching new frontiers from the smallest microchip to the orbits of space. israel has established a thriving democracy with a spirited civil society and proud political parties and a tireless free press and a lively public debate. lively may be an understatement. and israel's achieved all this
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even as its overcome relentless threats to its security, through the courage of the israel defense forces and the citizenry that is so resilient in the face of terror. this is the story of israel. this is the work that has brought the dreams of so many generations to life, and every step of the way israel has built unbreakable bonds of friendship with my country, the united states of america. [ applause ] those ties began only 11 minutes after israeli independence when the united states was the first nation to recognize the state of israel. as president truman said in explaining his decision to recognize israel, he said, i believe it has a glorious future
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before it, not just as another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization. and since then we've built a friendship that advances our shared interests. together we share a commitment to security for our citizens and the stability of the middle east and north africa. together we share a focus on advancing economic growth around the globe and strengthening the middle class within our own countries. together we share a stake in the success of democracy. but the source of our friendship extends beyond mere interests, just as it has transcended political parties and individual leaders. america is a nation of immigrants. america's strengthened by diversity. america's enriched by faith. we are governed not simply by men and women but by laws.
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we're fueled by entrepreneurship and innovation, and we are defined by a democratic discourse that allows each generation to reimagine and renew our union once more. so in israel, we see values that we share. even as we recognize what makes us different. that is an essential part of our bond. now, i stand here today mindful that for both our nations, these are some complicated times. we have difficult issues to work through within our own countries, and we face dangers and upheaval around the world. when i look at young people within the united states, i think about the choices they must make in their lives to define who we'll be as a nation in this 21st century, particularly as we merge from
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two wars and the worst recession since the great depression. but part of the reason i like talking to young people is because no matter how great the challenges are, their idealism, their energy, their ambition always gives me hope. [ applause ] and i see the same spirit in the young people here today. i believe that you will shape our future, and given the ties between our countries, i believe your future is bound to ours. this is part of the lively debate we talked about.
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this is good. [ applause ] you know, i have to -- i have to say we actually arranged for that because it made me feel at home. you know, i wouldn't feel comfortable if i didn't have at least one heckler. i'd like to focus on how we -- and when i say we, in particular, young people, can
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work together to make progress in three areas that will define our times. security, peace, and prosperity. let me begin with security. i'm proud that the security relationship between the united states and israel has never been stronger. never. more exercises between our militaries, more exchanges among our political, military, and intelligence officials than ever before. the largest program to date to help you retain your qualitative military edge. these are the facts. these aren't my opinions. these are facts. but to me this is not simply measured on a balance sheet.
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i know that here in israel security is something personal. here's what i think about when i consider these issues. when i consider israel's security, i think about children, like one who i met on my trip. children the same age as my own daughters when went to bed at night fearful that a rocket would land in their bedroom simply because of who they are and where they live. that reality is why we've invested in the iron dome system, to save countless lives, because those children deserve to sleep better at night. that's why we've made it clear time and again that israel cannot accept rocket attacks from gaza, and we have stood up for israel's right to defend
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itself. and that's why israel has a right to expect hamas to renounce violence and recognize israel's right to exist. when i think about israel's security, i think about five israelis who boarded a bus in bulgaria and were blown up because of where they came from. robbed of the ability to live and love and raise families. that's why every country that values justice should call hezbollah what it truly is, a terrorist organization. [ cheers and applause ] because the world cannot
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tolerate an organization that murders innocent civilians, stockpiles rockets to shoot its cities, and supports the massacre of men, women, and children in syria right now. the fact that hezbollah's ally, the assad regime, has stockpiles of chemical weapons only heightens the urgency. we'll continue to cooperate to closely guard against that danger. i've made it clear to bashar al assad and all who follow his orders, we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists. the world is watching. we will hold you accountable. the syrian people have the right to be freed from the grip of a dictator who would rather kill his own people than relinquish power.
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assad must go so that syria's future can begin. because true stability in syria depends upon establishing a government that is responsible to its people, one that protects all communities within its borders while making peace with countries beyond them, these are the things i think about when i think about israel's security. when i consider israel's security, i also think about a people who have a living memory of the holocaust. faced with the prospect of a nuclear armed iranian government that has called for israel's destruction. it's no wonder israelis view this as an existential threat. but this is not simply a challenge for israel. it is a danger for the entire world, including the united states. a nuclear armed iran would raise the risk of nuclear terrorism,
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it would undermine the nonproliferation regime, it would spark an arms race in a volatile region, and it would embolden a government that has shown no respect for the rights of its own people or the responsibilities of nations. that's why america's built a coalition to increase the cost to iran of failing to meet their obligations. the iranian government is now under more pressure than ever before, and that pressure is increasing. it is isolated, its economy is in dire straits, its economy is divided, and its position in the region and world has only grown weaker. i do believe that all of us have ab interest in resolving this issue peacefully. strong and principled diplomacy -- [ applause ] -- strong and